Skip to main content

Everyday Habits You Wouldn't Believe Lead to Abdominal Fat

Developing belly fat—or visceral fat, the fat in the abdominal area that grows around vital organs like the liver and pancreas, raising health risks—can be a bit more complicated than "calories in, calories out." (Although burning more calories than you consume on a daily basis is a great starting point for reducing belly fat.) In fact, some of the everyday habits that can pack on belly fat might shock you—some aren't commonly associated with weight, and others may even be considered healthy. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Poor Sleep

Woman Lying On Bed

Researchers at Wake Forest University found that dieters who slept five hours or less every night put on 2 1/2 times more belly fat than people who got adequate sleep, meaning seven to nine hours a night. Experts say poor sleep alters the production of leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that regulate appetite. Not sleeping enough also increases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone that tells the body to hold onto fat around the abdomen. 

RELATED: The #1 Best Cure for Visceral Fat, Say Experts


Drinking Diet Soda

woman drinking soda

Still don't believe that thin people don't drink diet soda? In a decade-long study at the University of Texas, researchers followed nearly 500 adults and found that those who drank diet soda developed a 70 percent larger waist circumference than those who didn't drink any soda. Diet drinks are a major dietary underminer: Artificial sweeteners prompt the body to expect an influx of calories; when none are forthcoming, the body nudges you toward the kitchen—or the drive-thru—to compensate.

RELATED: Stop Doing This or You'll Get Obese, Experts Warn


Stressing Out

Mature businessman experiencing a headache while working at his desk

Unfortunately, "stress belly" is a thing. Excessive stress causes the body to produce more cortisol, a.k.a. "the stress hormone," to help it cope with the strain. One of the things cortisol tells the body to do? Hold on to fat around the abdomen in case of emergency. This can cause a bulging midsection even in otherwise thin people. 

RELATED: Dementia Signs You Need to Know Now, Say Experts


Eating Out Of Cans

Woman in pantry with groceries, wooden rack for storing food in the kitchen.

It's not just what you eat that can pack on belly fat; be mindful of the container it came in. Specifically, whether it contains Bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical found in the lining of aluminum cans. One study at Harvard found that people who had the highest concentration of BPA in their urine had significantly larger waists and a higher risk of obesity than those in the lowest 25 percent.


Not Getting Enough Protein

drinking protein shake

Several studies have found that making high-quality protein a regular part of your diet is inversely associated with developing belly fat. One of the latest was published this summer in the journal Scientific Reports: Researchers found that a test group that took a protein supplement along with a mildly calorie-restricted diet lost more visceral fat than a group that took a placebo. In addition, the test group's gut microbiota was activated by the protein supplement. Some studies have connected healthy gut bacteria to the loss of visceral fat—regardless of what you eat. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

The post Everyday Habits You Wouldn't Believe Lead to Abdominal Fat appeared first on Eat This Not That.

Eat This Not That

Popular posts from this blog

These 5 Grocery Items Are Cheaper Than Ever Right Now

The grocery industry has been facing major disruptions. The combined effects of the pandemic, climate change, and economic uncertainty over the past couple of years have culminated in a series of supply chain breakdowns. For the consumer, this means supply shortages , shipping delays , and temporary store closures are becoming more commonplace – and all of the added production cost to suppliers is driving up food prices . The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index report for January 2022 was released on Feb. 9, and it tells the story of cost trends for every spending category over the past year. Now the numbers are in, and since January 2021, "food at home" spending has increased 7.4%. Consumers should use this number as a benchmark, Phil Lempert, the consumer behavior analyst and founder behind Supermarket Guru , told Eat This, Not That! "Anything that's substantially less [than the 7.4% increase] is a deal," said Lempert. "When you

When Should I Take Creatine?

Creatine is probably the most well-researched supplement on the market today. Numerous studies have found positive adaptations in strength, power and muscle mass thanks to creatine supplementation—especially when it's combined with resistance training. Although the benefits of creatine are well-known to lifters, the best time to take it isn't common knowledge. Which leads us to some important questions:     Does an optimal time for consuming creatine exist?     If it does, should you take it before or after your workout? According to a new study published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition, the timing of creatine ingestion does indeed play a role in getting bigger and stronger. Creatine supplementation before resistance training increases muscular strength and lean muscle mass. Interestingly, taking creatine immediately after lifting weights results in greater muscle growth than taking it immediately before. However, in terms of strength gains, no difference betw

One Major Side Effect of Taking Viagra, Study Says

Viagra, containing the drug sildenafil, is one of the most talked-about prescription medications on the planet. Patented in 1996 and hitting the market in 1998, its primary purpose is to help men achieve an erection. "Viagra is indicated for erectile dysfunction, pulmonary artery hypertension, and off label for Reynauds," Dr. Darren Mareiniss, MD, FACEP , Emergency Medicine Physician at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, explains to Eat This, Not That! Health . "If you don't have one of these issues, probably should not take it." According to the National Institutes of Health , the drug, available as a tablet or liquid suspension, should be taken anywhere from four hours to 30 minutes prior to sexual activity. "Sildenafil usually should not be taken more than once every 24 hours," they note. So what can happen if you take viagra daily? Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You Have "L